U

I exercise regularly, stay fit, and eat a healthy diet. My social environment is great with friends and family and I also enjoy life to the fullest! I sleep at least 7 hours per night and also do regular health checkups. Sleep and checkups are very important. All of these contribute to brain health. 

Dr. Manish Taneja

Neurointervention Specialist, Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic

Overview of Brain Health

A healthy brain offers cognitive, physical, and emotional benefits. As the center of cognitive functioning, the brain interprets senses, controls behavior, and initiates movements. An unhealthy brain can impact the quality of your life adversely; hence, taking care of it is imperative. 

Continue reading to learn how to promote brain health to enhance your overall well-being.

Brain health is the ability of the brain to function optimally across cognitive, social-emotional, sensory, behavioral, and motor domains. A healthy brain supports learning, reasoning, thinking, remembering, attention, language abilities, problem-solving, social cognition, decision-making, and motor functions.

Some common risks to brain health include vascular, degenerative, and immune-mediated diseases, mental health issues, inflammation, brain tissue injuries, malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies. Neurological and psychiatric conditions are prevalent in Singapore, and the cases are expected to increase with time. Some of the common conditions include Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia.

However, learning how to promote brain health can help minimize most of these risks.

happy Asian family at the park

7 Pillars for Optimizing Brain Health

From making lifestyle changes to improving blood flow and engaging in mentally stimulating activities, there are good practices you can adopt to boost your brain health. Below are the seven pillars for optimizing brain health.

Exercise

Regular exercise is excellent for your brain health. Physical activity can boost thinking, learning, problem-solving, and memory and prevent cognitive decline. In addition, exercise alleviates stress, improving anxiety and depression symptoms.

Recommended weekly physical activity for adults is at least 150 minutes of moderate or 30 minutes daily for five days.

Brain-Healthy Nutrition and Diet

Research shows that diet affects cognitive processes and emotions. A plant-based diet comprising vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fruits, legumes, and seeds is especially good for keeping the brain healthy. But generally, you can add foods such as nuts, turmeric, pumpkin seeds, green leafy vegetables (broccoli, spinach, kale), berries, fatty fish, and coffee to your diet.

Cognitive Stimulation

Cognitive stimulation improves concentration and memory, which boosts brain health. According to research, mental stimulation produces a lasting effect, extending past the initial learning phase. The cognitive benefits of activities such as fluency in a second language or years of education stretch to later in life.

Consider engaging in mentally stimulating activities like gardening, volunteering, playing an instrument, enjoying games and puzzles like Scrabble, and learning a new language to improve your brain functioning.

Mindfulness/Meditation

The calming effect of mindfulness/meditation can relieve stress, and improve mood, memory, thinking, and attentional performance, leading to better brain health. Mindfulness is an effective method of enhancing cognitive function as it changes the brain structures through improved working memory capacity while reducing mind wandering. It’s especially recommended as a technique for protecting an aging brain.

Social Connection

According to studies, poor connections, including infrequent interactions and loneliness, increase the risk of cognitive decline. Social connections, such as interacting/meeting up with a loved one, holding group meetings with people you share interests with, giving a family member or friend a call, or attending a social gathering such as a concert, are excellent for your brain health as they increase brain flexibility and resilience.

Discover more about brain aneurysm advances and care in conversation with our neurointervention specialist, Dr. Manish Taneja. He discusses important breakthroughs of neurological conditions and ways to prevent and look after your brain health.

Adequate Sleep

A past Singapore mental health study found that 27.6% of Singaporeans have poor-quality sleep. Unfortunately, sleep deprivation impacts brain health negatively. A decline in memory skills and concentration, increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and poor mental health are some negative impacts of inadequate sleep.

Having adequate sleep, 7-9 hours of high-quality sleep, enhances brain function as it helps memory consolidation and retention and hormonal secretions, among other physiological processes.

Good Blood Flow Throughout the Body

Optimal blood circulation throughout the body is good for your brain health. Though a small organ, the brain requires lots of energy to coordinate body functions. Smooth blood flow to the brain supplies the essential oxygen and nutrients needed to function optimally.

Impaired blood flow arising from circulation issues around the body, such as blood blockage or clots, can damage the brain, leading to conditions like vascular dementia and stroke. There are certain things you can do to enhance your blood circulation, including controlling your blood pressure and blood sugar, remaining physically active, refraining from smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, and adopting a healthy diet.

Examples of foods that promote good blood circulation include cayenne pepper, beets, leafy green vegetables, berries, citrus fruits, ginger, and fatty fish.

Areas of the Brain Affected by Stroke

How well do you know your brain, especially when a stroke occurs? Normal functional areas of the brain can be affected or even damaged leading to motor and cognitive impairments. Rehabilitation becomes crucial through tailored therapies to help patients and find ways to cope.

We Support Your Brain Health at Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic

Optimal brain health is vital for your overall quality of life. Learning how to promote brain health is thus essential to minimize the risk of neurological and psychiatric conditions. Some key pillars of optimizing brain health include exercise, brain-healthy nutrition and diet, cognitive stimulation, mindfulness, social connection, adequate sleep, and good blood flow throughout the body.

If you were looking for ways to improve your brain health, we hope this information has been helpful. Or, in case you need a brain doctor and specialist in Singapore like Dr. Manish Taneja, reach out to us at Supreme Vascular and Intervention Clinic. We handle various brain conditions and treatments and will work closely with you and your loved ones to create a tailored plan. Contact us to arrange your appointment.  

Stroke and Brain Health

The brain is the control center of the body. Keeping your brain healthy and mind sharp can help prevent neurological disorders and improve cognitive functioning, emotional well-being, and quality of life. As we age, it’s time to start making healthier lifestyle choices.

Stroke Management and Prevention

The best way to treat a stroke is to prevent stroke. There are well known causes of stroke such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol level, poor controlled diabetes and smoking. Other risk factors include obesity and unhealthy lifestyle combined with lack of physical activity.

Stroke treatment involves medical management along with control of risk factors to prevent future stroke. Interventional treatments are often required to treat and prevent stroke in patients. One of the most recent and well established interventional treatment for acute stroke since 2015 is to remove clot from the brain causing acute stroke in some of these suitable category of patients.

Stroke Screening

Stroke screening is best suited for individuals with risk factors for stroke. These include those with known family history and cardiovascular disease. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption is well recognized as risk factors for stroke. 

Stroke screening process involves:
1. Consultation
2. Blood tests
3. MRI /CT scan of the brain and its blood vessels.

This non-invasive assessment is followed by appropriate advice/ treatment as required on an individual basis. Stroke screening can also be combined with cardiac and vascular assessment as required since risk factors for these medical conditions overlap.

STROKE RISK FACTORS AND PREVENTION: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS PART 2

As a stroke specialist in Singapore, I frequently answer questions about stroke risk factors and prevention. People often want to know about the factors that increase their risk of experiencing a stroke and what steps they can take to minimize that risk. I offer...

STROKE RISK FACTORS AND PREVENTION: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS PART 1

As a stroke specialist in Singapore, I frequently answer questions about stroke risk factors and prevention. People often want to know about the factors that increase their risk of experiencing a stroke and what steps they can take to minimize that risk. I offer...

STROKE TREATMENT AND RECOVERY IN SINGAPORE: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

As a stroke specialist based in Singapore, I regularly address inquiries regarding stroke treatment and recovery. Patients often seek information on available treatment options, rehabilitation, expected outcomes, and ongoing care post-stroke. Providing comprehensive...

UNDERSTANDING SPONTANEOUS INTRACRANIAL HYPOTENSION (SIH)

Spontaneous Intracranial Hypotension (SIH) condition arises from a leakage of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), leading to decreased pressure in the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms often include severe headaches, nausea, and neck stiffness, which can significantly impact...

A VISUAL GUIDE TO CEREBRAL ANGIOGRAM

Cerebral angiograms are powerful diagnostic tools used to visualize blood vessels in the brain. This minimally invasive procedure can identify blockages, aneurysms, or other abnormalities that may impact brain health. By injecting contrast dye into the bloodstream and...

RIGHT SIDE STROKE: SYMPTOMS, TREATMENT, AND RECOVERY

In general, a stroke on one side of the brain can cause weakness on the opposite side of the body. With right side stroke, the left side of the body can develop weakness. With right brain stroke, a patient can lose the ability to handle spatial awareness,...

LEFT SIDE STROKE: SYMPTOMS, TREATMENT, AND RECOVERY

In general, a stroke on one side of the brain can cause weakness on the opposite side of the body. With left side stroke, the right side of the body can develope weakness. With left brain stroke, a patient can lose the ability to speak, understand speech, or even...

UNDERSTANDING MEDICINE FOR STROKE

As a stroke specialist, I educate patients on  stroke management medication. This includes antiplatelet drugs, anticoagulants, or thrombolytic agents like tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) administered to dissolve blood clots during acute ischemic strokes. There are...

HOW TO EXERCISE AFTER STROKE

The rehabilitation journey is important for individuals post-stroke to restore independence and enhance overall well-being. It significantly contributes to a stroke patient and survivor's physical and cognitive recovery. There are targeted exercises to restore...

YOUR GUIDE TO HEMORRHAGIC STROKE: CAUSES, DIAGNOSIS, AND TREATMENT

Strokes killed over 800 people in Singapore in 2021 alone. There are two main kinds of stroke. A hemorrhagic stroke is when a blood vessel ruptures, while in ischemic stroke is when a blood vessel in the vein is blocked by plaque or a clot.[pac_divi_table_of_contents...

Stroke Resources

Stroke Prevention Tips: How to Avoid High Cholesterol

Controllable risk factors are lifestyle choices that can be changed to reduce the risk of having a stroke including managing your cholesterol.

happy senior woman eating healthy green apple

We’ve Got You Covered for Specialized Stroke Screening, Prevention, and Management

Imagine heart attacks where the blood flow to your heart is blocked. Similarly, a stroke occurs when the blood flow to your brain is interrupted becoming a “brain attack”. When blood supply does not reach a certain part, brain cells begin to die. Different types of stroke include ischemic strokes (blockage of blood vessel due to blood clot) or a mini stroke, a TIA (transient ischemic attack), with no permanent damage yet serious. Stroke also occurs when a blood vessel in the brain pops causing bleeding in the brain.

Certain areas of the brain can be affected by stroke and some symptoms of a stroke including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and high blood sugar levels increase the risk of stroke whereas an active lifestyle or controlling high cholesterol reduces the risk. How well do you know stroke? Find tips to prevent and manage stroke, the differences in stroke screening tests, and the newer technology and treatments available. Come in for an easy consultation and further evaluation with our stroke specialist in Singapore at the Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic. 

Supreme Vascular and Interventional Stroke Programs

How Brain Aneurysms Affect Stroke Risk

A brain aneurysm is a weak or bulging area in the wall of an artery in the brain. When an aneurysm ruptures or bursts, it can lead to a type of stroke called a hemorrhagic stroke.

Neurointerventional / Stroke Treatments

The Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic is your “go-to” facility for various neurointerventional / stroke conditions and treatments. To arrange an appointment with Dr. Manish Taneja, our neurointervention specialist, contact us. You can also call us at (+65) 6904 8084 for a consultation.